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How To Prepare Your Home Heating System During Fall

A single family house among trees in the autumn among fallen leafs and with halloween decoration

As the chilly temperatures of winter weather approach, it’s essential for homeowners to ensure their furnace or heater is ready to keep them warm and comfortable throughout the cold season. To do so, you need to start thinking about your heater as fall approaches so that everything is in working order come this winter.

In this blog post, our experts at Campbell & Company will guide you through a series of maintenance tasks to prepare your home heating system for the cold weather.

1. Replace Air Filters

One of the simplest yet most crucial maintenance tasks is to replace the air filters in your furnace. Clogged or dirty filters obstruct airflow, reducing the system’s efficiency and potentially leading to costly repairs. We recommend checking the filters monthly and replacing them every one to three months, depending on usage and the type of filter.

2. Clean Vents & Ducts

Over time, dust, debris, and pet hair can accumulate in your vents and ducts, restricting airflow and decreasing heating efficiency. Before the cold weather arrives, inspect your vents and ducts, and clean them thoroughly. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove the accumulated dirt and improve indoor air quality. If your ducts are too dirty or hard to clean, you can hire a professional for this job.

3. Check Thermostat & Batteries

Verify that your thermostat is functioning properly by turning on the heating system and ensuring it reaches the desired temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, double-check that the settings reflect your winter schedule. Additionally, replace the batteries if your thermostat operates on them, as it can prevent sudden breakdowns during the colder months.

4. Inspect Pilot Light

For gas furnaces, the pilot light should be inspected to ensure proper ignition and consistent flame. If you notice any issues, such as a flickering or yellowish flame, it could indicate a problem with the gas supply or burner. In such cases, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

5. Lubricate Moving Parts

Your furnace contains various moving parts that may require lubrication to function smoothly. Consult your owner’s manual to identify the parts that need lubrication and use the manufacturer-recommended lubricant. Regular lubrication can reduce friction, minimize wear and tear, and increase the life span of your heating system.

6. Identify Gas Leaks

If your heating system runs on natural gas, it’s crucial to check for gas leaks before winter arrives. The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs can indicate a gas leak. If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas supply immediately and contact your gas provider or a professional HVAC technician for assistance.

7. Clean Blower & Fan

The blower and fan in your furnace help circulate warm air throughout your home. Over time, they can accumulate dust and dirt, affecting their efficiency. Before winter, clean the blower and fan blades carefully to ensure they can function optimally and distribute heat effectively.

8. Test Ignition System

The ignition system of a gas furnace is essential for reliable operation. Test the ignition system by turning on the heating and ensuring that the furnace ignites properly. If you encounter any issues or if the furnace fails to ignite, seek professional help to diagnose and resolve the problem.

9. Schedule Heating Maintenance With Campbell & Company

Campbell & Company technician performing a furnace tune-up

While the above DIY heating maintenance tips will help improve your system’s performance and reliability through the winter, it should not replace an annual furnace maintenance appointment with a professional. Professional heating maintenance is often required by your manufacturer in order to keep your warranty in good standing.

If it’s been longer than one year since your last heating maintenance appointment, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Campbell & Company. Our team offers comprehensive furnace tune-ups, extending the life span of your system and protecting against breakdowns on the coldest days of the year.

Schedule your annual furnace maintenance appointment today by calling us at 509-545-9848!

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